Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens

School Visits

Explore 700 years of history at Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens through the story of the Middleton family. From the medieval castle to Ancient Greek inspired architecture and stunning gardens, there are plenty of learning opportunities to support your teaching across the curriculum and bring learning to life.

Curriculum Links

Visit Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens to support your teaching in a fun and engaging way, and cover multiple topics accross the curriculum.

  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places within the locality
  • KS1 Science: Identify and name a variety of common wild and garden plants, including deciduous and evergreen trees, identify and describe the basic structure of a variety of common flowering plants, including trees. Identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited, identify and name a variety of plants and animals in their habitats, including microhabitats
  • KS1 Geography:  Use geographical skills and fieldwork
  • KS2 History: Local history study. Study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS2 Science: Working scientifically. Identify and name a variety of living things in the local and wider environment
  • KS2 Geography: Use geographical skills and fieldwork. Understand the strategic significance of the castle’s position
  • KS3 History: Local History study. Development of Church, state and society in Britain 1066-1509 and 1509-1750
  • GCSE History: Study of the historic environment

Free self-led visits

Book a free self-led visit to Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens and organise your day to suit your curriculum objectives. Discover the medieval castle with its impressive tower, and learn how it changed over time to match the needs of the Middleton family. See the Ancient Greek inspired architecture in the hall, and visit the beautiful gardens to explore the vast range of plants and habitats. 

Enquire now

Plan Your Trip

We have a wide range of materials to support your visit and make school trip planning easy. You can find all our site-specific information and tools below, and further information on our what to expect page.

Download our free resources to help you make the most out of your visit and create unique learning experiences before, during and after your trip. We also offer free planning visits once you have made a booking, plus a 20% discount on the official English Heritage guidebook for your place of choice.

Once you book your visit you’ll be sent a visit permit, which you’ll need to bring with you on the day.

Visit our bookings page to start planning your trip!

  • Facilities
    • PARKING: Free parking is available. The main car park is located next to the entrance to the site. Disabled parking is available in the main car park, which is close to the shop and admissions with ramp access to the hall and tearoom. Disabled visitors can also be set down outside the entrance to the site.
    • EDUCATION ROOM: The education room is currently unavailable.
    • TOILETS: Toilets including accessible toilets are located in the main car park.
    • LUNCH: You are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy at one of the picnic tables which are located on the grassed area off the main car park. There is also a tearoom located in the original kitchen of the hall, serving cream teas, cakes, hot and cold sandwiches, soup and baked potatoes
    • SHOP: There is a gift shop on-site selling a range of English Heritage gifts and souvenirs. We recommend you bring your class in small groups at a time.
    • ACCESSIBILITY: Wheelchair access to to the ground floor of the hall and the tea room via a ramp from the car park. Access to the ground floor of the castle via a ramp at the rear of the castle. Wheelchairs as well as a mobility scooter are available to borrow for free. RADAR key access for level access route to the hall and gardens available at the shop for a refunded hire charge. Shop has level access but a narrow doorway.
  • Hazard Information

    A useful tool to help with your risk assessments.


    You must meet the following ratios for leaders to students on the day of your visit when booking, and if your group is forming smaller groups while at the site:

    • Ages 4-5 (UK Reception) 1 leader for every 4 students (1:4)
    • Ages 5-7 (UK Key Stage 1) 1 leader for every 6 students (1:6)
    • Ages 7-11 (UK Key Stage 2) 1 leader for every 10 students (1:10) and
    • Ages 11-18 (UK Key Stages 3, 4, and 5) 1 leader for every 15 students (1:15)
    • For an adult learning group, consisting of individuals all over the age of 18, there are no ratios but there must be an appointed group leader
    • All ratios outlined above apply to home education groups
    • If your group consists of children aged 3 and/or 4, you must also refer to the Early Years and Foundation Stage Statutory Framework which sets out specific legal requirements for minimum ratios for this age group, to include requirements about the qualifications of the leaders
    • SEND groups must meet the minimum ratios above but may bring any additional leaders as required to adequately support their group
  • Education Site Opening Times

    We offer free self-led education visits during school term time*

    *Free education visits are not offered on UK public holidays or during the operation of additional fee paying public events at English Heritage sites.

    • April-October: Monday-Sunday 10-5pm
    • November-March: Saturday-Sunday 10-4pm

Learning Resources

  • Belsay Hall, Castles and Gardens Teachers' Kit (KS1-KS3)

    Our Teachers’ Kits feature historical information and activity suggestions for group leaders of various subjects and key stages.

  • Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens Outdoor Learning Kit (KS1-KS3)

    Use our historical information, sources and suggested activities to explore the outdoor spaces at Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens. 

  • Wild Child Sensory Trail (KS1-KS2)

    Engage with the colours, sounds, smells and textures in the gardens at Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens with our sensory trail.

  • Teaching Medieval History

    Use historical information, learning activities and tips from our historians, curators and educational experts to support your teaching of medieval history.

  • Teaching the Victorians

    Use historical information, learning activities and tips from our historians, curators and educational experts to support your teaching of the Victorians.

  • Postcard from Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens

    Take to the skies above Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens to discover the site and its surroundings.